APRIL SHOWERS BRING BOWERS OF FLOWERS!

Victoria Thomas

Spring has sprung! 

Time to stow the Uggs and stash the puffa vest for another season.

And we are swept off our feet by the beauty of the season’s blooms. The days grow long, the nights are balmy, and bees buzz in the orange blossoms. 

But they’re gone so soon. 

Luckily, for centuries, fine jewelers have used precious materials (especially fancy-colored gems!) to create spring bouquets that last forever.  We’ve picked a few for you. In the decades before texting, lovers often exchanged meaningful gems as a way to flirt, pursue, and consummate their desire.

A special shout-out to our Insta-friends at @wartski1865 in London, and to lovely Mona in Beirut, Lebanon @for_theloveofjewellery, and to everyone else for allowing us to re-gram their awesome, vintage floral fine jewelry photos!

FORGET-ME-NOTs…

The tiny blue flower that symbolizes our fondest hopes.

Consider these forget-me-nots, strewn among lilies-of-the-valley and a wild rose, captured in this 19th century white diamond corsage pin.  The center flower is set “en tremblant”, meaning that it shudders and shivers like a lover’s heart.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9WyT50Bm4D/

Collected by @wartski1865, courtesy of @tefaf (The European Fine Art Fair), an annual art and antiquities event held in Maastricht, Netherlands.

THINKING OF YOU….

Are you really?  How we wish. The “Pansy” gets its name from the French verb, “pense”, to think about, or think of a loved one.  This amethyst and diamond brooch dated approximately 1900 asks of the wearer “Pense a Moi” – “Think of me.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_E8Z-ljn8B/

And here’s an exquisite pansy from the atelier of master artiste, Rene Lalique.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CL_UTuXItqB/

 

The ultimate designer, fabricator, enamellist and jewel-setter of turn-of-the century Paris, Lalique set his “dog-collar” choker with a lifelike purple-and-yellow Pansy flower, sparkled with diamonds to suggest morning dew:

This masterpiece and more than 650 others (ranging from hood ornaments to vases and chandeliers) are housed in the Musee Lalique, the modern museum dedicated to the artist, built on an old glassworks in Wingen-sur-Moder, France, the village where Lalique first set up his workshop in 1921.

While some fine jewelry representations of flowers seem a bit heavy, Lalique’s genius lay in using his medium to create petals and leaves as well as feathers and insect-wings of astonishing clarity and transparency.  His work was based on light, both in transmitting light and creating a feeling of weightlessness. Consider this dewy bouquet of spring flowers crafted from opals and pate-de-verre (ground-glass paste):

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-byeFtDfAS/

A bristlier blossom, the thistle, is made equally gorgeous by the house of Plisson et Hartz in this piece circa 1900, Paris.

Platinum-fronted leaves set with diamonds have a frosty look, balanced by the carved matte amethyst flowers.  The bright-green bud set with demantoid garnets gives the piece a sharp jolt of springy energy, to keep it fresh:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_QkPYSDbk7/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CANbT_SjUw1/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This classic Art Deco, English-made pin circa 1935 isn’t naturalistic at all, but we love its cheerful cascade of primary colors and simplified shapes.  Ruby, sapphire, amethyst and citrine flowers with emerald leaves, set among pear-shaped, brilliant-cut and baguette-cut diamonds, set in platinum.  The look is almost sporty.

The pin is accompanied by a delicate screwdriver (part of the original set), so that the rather showy diamond cascade may be removed for more tasteful, discreet day-wear.

Gotta love the Brits.

Leave a comment